Soon I'll insist on going to the shops unchaperoned.
When I first moved to Ireland I went to the bank to open a bank account but since I didn't have a job I couldn't open one. Ironically, when I did get a job, I needed a bank account to receive my paycheck as my employer didn't issue actual cheques. By that time, though, I had given in an slapped my name onto my husband's account, like good little woman and then
spent all of his money diligently looked for a job.
To top it all off, the bank also wouldn't issue me a credit card for the same reasons.
Since when do credit card companies and banks care if you can pay them back? This was 2005 - wasn't everyone spending money they didn't have?
Once again, being on my husband's account helped out and I was given a card that was attached to our newly jointed account.
And in all this time, even when I did go and get a bank account of my own (in April 2006), I never had my own credit card. Every purchase was run past my husband in some way. This isn't his fault; he'd look at the online statement often and if I charged something on the card, it would come out of our joint account, not my own, and if he didn't make the purchase himself he would ask me, "Liz, did you spend €56.40 at a shop called Knobs and Knockers last Friday?"
Often times I would completely forget that I was in Knobs and Knockers and immediately say no and then he would get all in a tizzy thinking someone scammed us and took our identities and was going to spend our life savings on knobs or knockers (or both!) Then, I'd find a receipt in the bottom of my purse for the gorgeous pulls on our dresser and I'd be all, "Oooooooh yeah."
You can imagine this made gift buying difficult. I mean, who carries around cash anymore? It just makes my purse too heavy.
Recently, though, our bank decided that instead of the dated ATM cards that we were issued for our accounts (joint and personal), everyone was getting a VISA debit. Because, in Ireland, it's 1995. In the mail came MY VERY OWN CREDIT CARD THAT TAKES MY VERY OWN MONIES!
I can't believe that, as a 30 year old woman, I'd be that excited to get validation from a bank in the form of a Visa debit card. I had one of those when I was 17 and I didn't have to have my father's name attached to the account to get it.
But now I have been thinking of all of the purchases online I can make without having to ask
my keeper Bub for approval. (And, before anyone gets all crazy that I ask to spend our money, he always runs a purchase by me before spending, as well. Because it is our money to spend together. I'm his keeper, too.) It's a rather freeing feeling, being financially independent (sort of) once again. I can't believe I let six years ago by without having this feeling.
This isn't a knock to Bub - he never has had a problem trusting me with our accounts - but instead it was me, in a big new place with big, new (slightly sexist) rules, that let me think for so long that I didn't need to be able to have access to my own funds at whim. Or that I should have access to them. Sure, I'm married, but when you have a weird obsession with stupidly expensive nail polish, or you just don't feel like running five blocks to the nearest ATM, or you want to order a birthday present for your husband and not have him know three weeks beforehand, it's nice to have the security that comes with being able to keep some things to yourself.
And with that said, heeelllloooo there Twizzlers.